Super Bowl Sunday was exceptionally, well, super after the New England Patriots brilliantly orchestrated a historic 21-point comeback — one that included overcoming a 19-point fourth quarter deficit — to take down the Atlanta Falcons for the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl victory in overtime. Tom Brady’s Super Bowl record 466 yards might be the highlight everyone will be talking about around the water cooler — but don’t forget about Penn State lacrosse alum Chris Hogan who showed up on the stat sheet to have a hand in making history.
Hogan, who elaborated on his record-setting performance in the AFC Championship Game in a touching essay on the Players’ Tribune prior to the Super Bowl, didn’t quite set the world ablaze on Sunday night. But a key first down pickup by Hogan on third and long in the midst of New England’s mesmerizing comeback helped set up James White’s one-yard scamper into the endzone and Danny Amendola’s two-point conversion with less than a minute to play.
Two of Hogan’s four catches for 57 yards came in the first half, but his final two served as integral components of New England’s late push that helped capture the Lombardi Trophy. After beginning the drive on their own 25 to start overtime, the Patriots quickly drove upfield with a series of quick strikes from Brady. Hogan took a short completion 18 yards to put New England in business on the Atlanta 37.
The Patriots would eventually clinch the Super Bowl after James White pounded it in from the two-yard line. Considering his humble beginnings scoring goals for the Nittany Lions on the lacrosse field, it’s pretty remarkable to see how far Hogan has climbed since spending the 2010 season playing football at Monmouth.
Hogan’s had a number of titles over the course of his athletic career. He’s gone from lacrosse player to undrafted free agent. Now, he’s earned one of the most prestigious titles of all: Super Bowl champion.